When a loved one becomes incapacitated for any reason, the option to file for guardianship exists for many family members and even some friends. A guardianship lets you step in to manage important decisions or even acts of daily life when someone is not able to do so for him- or herself.
According to the Texas Guardianship Association, individuals seeking guardianship over another must file an application. The application is submitted in the county where the potential ward lives, which is not necessarily the same county where the proposed guardian lives. Applications must also come with an examination by a physician or psychologist, depending on the nature of the incapacity.
Though applications differ across the state, most require similar information. Applicants will have to provide demographics about themselves and the potential ward and whether guardianship is being sought over the estate, the individual person or both. The potential guardian will also need to detail the reason guardianship is necessary and why the applicant is the right person for the duty.
Unique information may be required in cases involving minors, the elderly or the mentally handicapped. Once the application is filed, a citation is served on the potential ward, and a court investigation may occur. Court investigators will review the application and associated documents, and may also interview family members, the potential ward and guardian, and any professional care providers such as social workers, therapists and physicians.
Others may contest a guardianship application and make a case before the court. The court must find that the potential ward is incapacitated, requires a guardian and the guardian will protect the ward’s rights and property before granting guardianship. In some cases, legal assistance may help to increase the chances of a desired outcome.
Source: Texas Guardianship Association, “Guardianship Process” accessed Jan. 16, 2015